Senior Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake) tied a career-high with 18 points and Valparaiso became the first team to score more than 50 points against Green Bay in Horizon League action, but it was not enough as the #RV/RV Phoenix took a 78-55 win at the ARC on Saturday afternoon.
Lange was 7-of-10 from the field (2-of-3 behind the arc) and also grabbed five rebounds. She scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half.
Valparaiso used an 11-2 run early in the second half to trim a 17-point deficit to eight at 41-33 with 15:18 to go.
“We bounced back and responded very well,” Crusader coach Tracey Dorow said. “We all know basketball is a game of spurts and we did a really good job for that stretch.”
Junior Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) opened the spurt with a three-point play, and Lange followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the next Crusader possession.
After two Green Bay free throws, freshman Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) buried a 3-pointer from the wing to cut the lead to 10. Lange closed out the run with a layup, but that was as close as the Crusaders would get the rest of the game.
The Phoenix answered with a 16-2 run to build the lead to 57-35 with 11:01 to play, and their lead never dropped below 16. Green Bay shot 16-of-24 (67 percent) in the second half and finished 28-of-47 (60 percent) for the game.
“We pressed at times and we couldn’t get over the hump,” Dorow said. “For us it is going to take everyone playing at the top of their game to beat a good team like Green Bay.”
Green Bay opened the game on a 17-4 run. The Crusaders slowly chipped away, and a layup from sophomore Shaquira Scott (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) cut the lead to single digits at 29-20 with 2:24 left in the opening half. The Phoenix led 34-22 at the break.
Sophomore Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) scored nine points for Valparaiso. Junior Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) added eight points and Wiedemann each scored eight. Richardson added seven points and four assists.
Adrian Ritchie led Green Bay (15-2, 5-0 HL) with 15 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and had eight assists. Breannah Ranger scored 13 points, while Lydia Bauer and Sarah Eichler each totaled 11. The Phoenix had 23 assists on 28 field goals.
Valparaiso (7-11, 2-3 HL) returns to the hardwood on Thursday, Jan. 31 when the Crusaders visit Wright State at 6:00 p.m. The game will be carried live on WVUR-FM 95.1, Valparaiso. Links for audio, video from the Horizon League Network and live stats can be found on www.valpoathletics.com.